In Japan, a tea processing plant named Tokutaro Noda start cultivating tea seedlings indoors with red and green LEDs in a pure way. It’s a new farming method to grow organic and nutritious tea-leaves with a simple operational process. As reported, the tea produced by this plant has been reserved by a Café as ingredients for tea-leaf food like Tempura. The Café is run by the same company, whose general manager of the fifth-generation Tomitaro Noda says, “If only everyone would love our new tea food plan.”
The “plant workshop” set by the company is filled with purple light by LED bulbs. The staff of “plant workshop” has done a research on the color of light in order to promote the rates of leaf photosynthesis. These yellowish green tea trees on the seedbed come into view after the workers changed the lighting equipment into fluorescent lamps.
Plants growing LEDs keep the indoor temperature fluctuating from 71.6 to 73.4 degree on a 24-hour run. Indoor growing creates an environment that is free from gems or insect pests, and no need to use any pesticide. All the moisture and nourishment the tea trees need to grow are provided by automatic spraying devices under the seedbed.
The company’s general manager Mr. Noda started considering about the edibility of tea leaf and tea root used as food two years ago. He has been studying new tea growing methods and menus since last April.
Generally, the tea leaf can be harvested three times in a year’s time. It can grow as fast as 6 times the original speed under 24-hour uninterrupted lighting of plant growing LEDs. That’s more than 10 harvests a year. It’s a growing method that is unaffected by seasonal rotation. The tea produced can be used as tea food materials all the year round. In addition, as to the idea of “Photosynthesizing continuously for 24 hours, tea trees are able to grow tea leaves that contain abundant catechin and vitamins”, researchers are making further efforts to glean more data to prove it.
Thanks to the generalization of farm machinery automation, people don’t spending much time on the farm produce in recent years. In this way, the aging of farmers will finally become a realization. The general manager Mr. Noda expresses, “Although the usage of tea leaf is various, we still hope to put forward a constructive tea production plan.”
The west of Ibaraki-ken of Japan abounds in Saru tea (“Saru” means apes and monkeys). Due to the incident of Fukushima First Nuclear Power Plant, the export of Saru tea is limited. Even in 2 years later in 2012, the output and sales volume of Saru tea is only 60% that of 2010. It’s obvious that Japanese nuclear power plant accident had a very serious effect on the tea industry.
It will be the tea harvest season soon again. It’s reported that the general manager Mr. Noda would do anything to help tea re-win people’s affection.